Manhattan Restorations- The Preservation of Fine Antiques

Very Rare Signed Patent Wooten Desk No 1613

Description: Very rare signed "Patent Wooton Desk, No 1613, 1st May, 1875." When closed this piece is a flat top desk with raised lift top writing surface. We had a gold tooled leather top installed on the surface. When the surface lifts up a storage area with several vertical cubbies is revealed. Notice the knob on either side of this interior. When it is pulled it unlocks the two swing out sides. When fully opened this desk is a work of art and function. Each side compartment has twenty eight square filing compartments. The sides of the kneehole have two small drawers over five graduated drawers - each with an original wooden knob pull. The two door compartment under the knee hole also has a vertical and horizontal file unit. The back of the desk is paneled. There has been some professional restoration. We were able to polish the original finish on certain portions of the desk and other parts had to be refinished to match. Wooton desks are considered the best and most innovative of the period. They were favored by politicians and bankers in the late 1800's. Examples are shown on pages 186-199 of "American Furniture of the 19th Century" by Eileen and Richard Dubrow. We have had other Wooton desks over the years but have never even seen this model before. A rare masterpiece of design and function! The information below was provided to us from a person in England about the specifics of the patent number: "The 1613 is not a model number, but British patent number 1613 of May 1, 1875. The desk may be even rarer than you think because it was specifically made for the British market and Wooton did not patent this desk in the USA. Also, and unusually, he patented this particular model with two other patentees. Apart from his first patent (for a school desk) he was usually the only person mentioned on his patents. So It appears that this desk may be well travelled - Indianapolis to England, back to the U.S.A., eventually to end up with yourselves! Here are the patent details:- G.B. Patent number 1613 of May 1, 1875. "An Improved Writing Desk or Table." Patentee: William Robert Lake of Haseltine, Lake (chartered patent agents), Southampton Buildings, London (England). A communication from William Stubbs Wooton, John Gurley Blake, and Harmon Healy Fulton, all of Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. It was fairly common for chartered patent agents to be the patentee for patents from abroad. I think that the theory was that they were better protected in the hands of a professional.

Circa: 1880
Dimensions: 37.5"H x 94"W (When fully opened) x 27"D
Finish: Excellent polished original. Some parts refinished to match
Price: $19,950.00

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